At the moment international travel isn’t an option for everyone, you may even feel more comfortable staying in the UK, especially as booking a trip abroad isn’t as easy as it once was.
We’ve recently booked a trip to Greece, the complications we encountered and the hoops we had to leap through were a struggle to say the least. So, if you don’t feel like travelling too far this summer then we have the answer.
What’s easy to book? What’s within the UK? What can you definitely count on? A good old staycation!
We’ve recently been on a number of UK adventures with Zipcar. Exploring the Midlands and South of England, scouting the best places for you. All of them make the best day trips, or you can turn them into a dreamy little weekend break.
Londoners we’ve got you!
Distance: 115 miles
Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Bath is a true beauty. It’s dominated by beautiful Georgian architecture built with golden bath stone. Every road you walk down is a dream and always looks brand new. In London you have beautiful architecture yes, but there will always be a ‘not-so-stunning’ building in between, more than likely due to bomb damage from World War Two or an architects design that was just a little to innovative (you know what we mean!) But, in Bath it just beauty, after beauty, after beauty.
In Bath there’s also a crazy amount of history to learn, some dream little cafes and restaurants and some incredible National Trust gardens to explore! On your hit list you have to have the below!
- The Bath Skyline at Alexandra Park – Amazing views over the whole city.
- Prior Park Landscape Garden, a National Trust Site – Beautiful gardens with a backdrop of the city.
- The Royal Crescent – An impressive semi-circle of Georgian houses with a lovely lawn to laze in front of.
- Pulteney Bridge – A very pretty bridge lined with shops and an incredible view from the other side.
- Bath Abbey – An imposing medieval building in the middle of the centre.
- The Roman Baths – Preserved traditional roman baths.
- The Scallop Shell – A restaurant with the most delicious fish dishes. We can highly recommend the mussels and cod with chips and mushy peas!
- The Green Bird Cafe – An adorable cafe with the perfect lunch menu or even afternoon tea and cakes.
Distance: 123 miles
Time: 2 hours 22 minutes
Dorset has to be one of our favourite trips from London and the perfect weekend break – one day is simply not enough! The Jurassic Coast line is breathtaking and there are so many incredible little spots to nestle into. We had glorious weather, which always makes things better, it was like we were in Spain. For the whole weekend we went swimming in the sea, sunbathed on the beach, ate ice cream and just had a jolly old time.
We’ve never seen anything quite like it in the U.K., to be honest it reminded us a lot of the Algarve in Portugal, but no it was just good old sunny, sunny England. All you really want to be doing is laying on the beach and soaking up the rays… but if you do want to go for a little bit of an explore then these are some of the places we would recommend.
- Durdle Door – An arch not to far into the sea off Durdle Door Beach, naturally carved out by the waves. Durdle Door was the reason we went all the way to Dorset in the first place and it didn’t disappoint!
- Ludworth Cove – A cute little village leading down to a cove with beautiful blue sea.
- Boast Shed Cafe – An amazing cafe by Ludworth Cove. We had Scampi and Chips to start and then the award winning Purbeck Ice Cream before strolling to the view point over the cove.
- Old Harry’s Rock and Middle Beach Studland Bay – An perfect place for a perfect summers day. At Old Harry’s Rock you can either walk out to the top for an incredible view, or you can canoe out to the island itself. We opted to canoe so we could see it close up. We had our own canoe but there are rental companies on Studland Bay.
- The Pig on the Beach – Fancy doing something a little fancy pants? Why not try The Pig on the Beach for a delicious meal, some good wine and a beautiful view over the ocean?
Seven Sisters, England
Distance: 69 miles
Time: 1 hours 57 minutes
A trip to the Seven Sisters is the perfect day trip. It gives you a unique trip to the coast and the views are brilliant. There’s not much to do apart from picnic and hike, maybe swim in the sea if it is warm enough, but it’s beautiful whatever the weather.
We drove down from London for the day… well the afternoon really because work got in the way in the morning and it was still perfect. We brought a picnic, parked up at Birling Gap, sat on the cliff edge – not too close though because it has been known to crumble – ate our sandwiches and strawberries, then went for a hike along the ridge. Maybe we should have done it the other way round because the stitches were pretty painful, but it was such a fab day none the less. We walked east along the ridge, past a few light houses and then doubled back.
Top Tip: It can get insanely windy so bring a windproof jacket, a hairband and to be honest goggles to stop bits and bobs flinging in your eyes…! Ha!
Distance: 83 miles
Time: 1 hours 45 minutes
The Cotswolds is probably one of the most charming places in the U.K. There is just quaint little town after quaint little town and trust us, the Cotswolds stone never gets old!
- Snowhill – The most underrated village in the Cotswolds in our opinion and right next to some beautiful poppy fields at the right time of year.
- Upper and Lower Slaughter – Two of the cutest little villages in the world, not much to do but you’ll feel like you’re in a fairytale.
- Bourton-on-the-Water – Probably the most famous of the Cotswold’s towns but it is picturesque and situated on a shallow stream. The perfect place to picnic and watch the dogs paddle.
- Burford – An old market town with a high concentration of antique shops where you can amble the day away.
- Cotswolds Lavender – Exactly what it says on the tin. A beautiful lavender field with benches for a little picnic and a little shop selling lavender goods and ice cream.
For more information on these individual places head to our Five Places to Visit in the Cotswolds blog post.
In the Cotswolds you have Castle Combe, it is literally, with out a shadow of a doubt, the prettiest place you will have seen in your entire lives. It’s not miles alway from the places listed above, but it’s at least an hours drive in the opposite direction to London. We would say it’s best to link up with a day-er or weekend-er to Bath, but you’re in the driving seat… it’s up to you… (not sure if we could have got much cheesier…!)
Distance: 53 miles
Time: 1 hours 42 minutes
This is probably the most frequent road trip which we’ve done from London. One, because we have friends that live in Brighton, and two, because we just love this town. Brighton is such a unique, quirky, vibrant place and each time we go we feel refreshed by the sea air but also by the people and the culture. London can be somewhat stuffy at times (we love it, we love it, we love it… but it can) and Brighton is totally… not!?
There are so many things to do and see in Brighton but these are the things we go back and do over and over again.
- Walk the Lanes – We could spend hours wandering these quirky, winding alleys. There are some brilliantly beautiful jewellery shops there too!
- Eat Fish and Chips on Brighton Beach – We don’t need to explain this one, this is just a right of passage when you go to Brighton. We mean… you could get a bit fancy and have a crab sandwich or something from one of the fancier stalls… but some types of fish needs to be eaten on the beach.
- Shop along Brighton Beach – We love ambling along the front looking into all the artists shop underneath the arches, we even once bought a pop-art painting of Gus!
- Brighton Pier – You’re never too old for candy floss, rock, rollercoasters or 2p slot machines. Be a kid for a day!
Bicester Village, England
Distance: 58 miles
Time: 1 hour
Fancy a chilled, girly day out where you can get beautiful designer clothes at a fraction of the price without having to go into battle during the boxing day sales? Well, we have the perfect place just for you! It’s one of our favourite day trips from London and we make sure that we visit at least once a year… just for a little treat!
Bicester Village is a discounted retail park but when we say retail park we don’t mean huge messy warehouses with clothes all over the floor and bright yellow discount labels glaring out of every corner… we mean dreamy, stylish wooden buildings along a slate pedestrian walkway in the middle of the countryside.. yea!
It’s the most perfect place for a day out because not only can you buy high end brands like Prada and Gucci at nearly half the price but it’s also just a lovely experience. They have restaurants and outside seating areas, rivers and bridges and (because this is important) really, really really amazing loos!!!
As with most things, it’s best to get there nice and early so you don’t get caught in a queue (they’re a bit longer with the COVID drama now we’re not going to lie) but either way its just a wonderful little place to spend the day with your mum!
Distance: 85 miles
Time: 1 hour 54 minutes
Rye is an adorable English town near the coast in East Sussex. Even though it is by the sea, it is not your classic seaside town or resort. The centre of Rye is made up with little cobbled streets, antiques shops and cute cafes. Its most famous street is Mermaid Street, once voted the prettiest street in Britain. Now, we went on a drizzly day in October, so our view may have been dampened by this, but although it is a pretty street we’re not sure it makes the prettiest when comparing it to the Cotswolds.
With that said Rye would make the perfect day trip or long weekend from London in spring or even the summer. We would love to explore Rye’s cobbled streets and medieval style houses with the sun shining and an ice cream in hand. Although if you’re looking for a hearty meal to warm you up we stopped off for a pulled pork burger, pancetta mac and cheese and truffle mayo chips at Tatner’s Street Kitchen.
Zipcar is easy to use, not too expensive depending on distance and gives you the freedom of owning your own car – something not many of us Londoners have the luxury of having. We joined Zipcar many road trips before working with them in Bath and we’re always asked the same two questions:
How much does Zipcar cost? / Is worth the cost?
The cost completely depends on how long you want the car for. You can choose your time span to the nearest half hour which is awesome and even extend it if no one else has the car booked after. As we’ve been going on day trips, the day rate that we’ve been paying on a Ford Focus is £75 on our £6 a month member plan. If you’re going for a different car or a van this will vary, but the Ford Focus is a fab little car so we’d recommend that! Also, Zipcar pay for all the petrol!!! Which to be honest really knocks down the daily price! In the drivers side of the car there is a little Zipcar credit card for when you fill up! It doesn’t include road snacks though… The only thing you need to take into consideration is that your daily mileage is limited to 60 miles. Doing a day trip you will probably/definitely exceed this. However, for us it’s only ever added another £20 on but it’s just good to know and include in your budget planning!
We feel that it Zipcar is super reasonably priced (especially they pay for your petrol) and that coupled up with the ease of renting one out makes it a no brainer!
How does Zipcar work?
Zipcar is one of the easiest things to use in the world once you get past the registration phase. To register you have to fill in an online application which you need to upload photos of yourself and your drivers licence to. It took me around 20 minutes to complete the application and then you will (fingers crossed) get an approval email saying you’re a member. You can join Zipcar for free which is amazing but you can also make a monthly payment to be part of the club and get cheaper rates. My monthly payment is £6 for membership and £14 for extra insurance incase I have a wobble and drive off a cliff or something. If you back yourself then you could just pay the £6 for membership like us or nothing! But we would say you see significant discount on hourly/ daily rates with the £6 a month option.
Once you’re in the club all you need is the app on your phone. You add your home address and then when you want to use it (be that in a few days or in a few minutes) the app will search for available cars near you within your given timeframes. The app will give you a selection of different cars (there might even be one on you road if you’re lucky) and you tap on the one you want to use. All you have to do then is walk up to the car and when you’re in range you unlock the car using your phone. The keys are in the glove box and off you go.
When you’re finished all you have to do is put the keys back in the glove box, lock the car using your phone and walk away. It really is that simple. Once your time frame has finished Zipcar will email you with a receipt and charge the card on your account.
It really is the simplest and easiest way to rent a car!
*Disclaimer: We were gifted a Zipcar for our weekend break in Bath in exchange for promotion. However, we truly enjoyed our experience with them and we’d already joined Zipcar for our trips to the Cotswolds and the Seven Sisters before working with them*